Introduction: Plastic Density and Mass!

I am a student and I was assigned to build two items, a balance scale and a graduated cylinder. Maybe you are doing school remotely and you don't have the tools for science, well I can almost guarantee that you will have these items at you house.


For the balance scale you will need:

  • A hanger
  • String (yarn or ribbon but DON'T use rope, it will not work.)
  • Two paper cups (or cups you can put holes in.)
  • Stick (I used a ruler but you can use a stick from outside.)
  • A ball of some sort (I used a pencil sharpener but you can use a rubber or plastic ball.)
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch (optional) (Don't use one like mine! It won't work!)
  • A door with a knob

For the Graduated Cylinder you will need:

  • Paper
  • A plastic water bottle
  • Paper
  • Permanent marker (it's best if is's permanent so it won't wash off, but and marker, pencil, or crayon will work.)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Cup

Step 1: The Balance Scale~The String

Cut your string to exactly 20 inches, make two of them. You can also double the string over and then measure 10 inches. Then set them aside.

Step 2: The Balance Scale~The Cups

Take your two cups and make holes in them with your hole puncher, make one one each side of the cup as shown above. If you have a three hole puncher like I do then you can use scissors. (And adult supervision/help if you are a kid.)

Step 3: The Balance Scale~Attaching the String

Tie one end of one of the pieces of string to each hole. Make sure it's secure and your cups don't rip.

Step 4: The Balance Scale~Putting It All Together

Take the hanger and the two cups with the string, hook them over the dented part, and then secure them on with small pieces of string. Cut of the extra string that you didn't use when you tied the cups to the hanger.

Step 5: The Balance Scale~The Stick

Tie your ruler or stick onto the middle of the hanger by tying string around it and double knotting it, then go around to thee other side and tie it there. (watch the video above to see hows to do this step.)

Step 6: The Balance Scale~ the Ball

For this it's best if you use a pencil sharpener (round if possible) (has to come apart) if not you can use a rubber ball, if you sue a rubber ball cut in half and cut a relatively small hole in one half with an adults help. For both tie a string through the hole. You can use a pencil to do this next step, put the string in as far as it will go and then put the pencil in and turn it, it should start to come through. Tie the two ends together (video above), put the top back on, for the ball you'll have to glue the top back. Do not cut of the extra string!

Step 7: The Balance Scale~Ball to Stick

Tie the ball or pencil sharper onto the stick with the extra string. Cut off the extra after you tie it on, you'll want to tie the the ball on the same way you did with the stick. (Go back and watch the video in step 5 if you need to.)

Step 8: The Balance Scale~ the Final Step!

Now hang it on your door and have fun measuring! Watch the video above to see how mine came out!

Step 9: The Graduated Cylinder~Your Paper

Cut your piece of paper into a strip that can fit on your bottle so that you can still see inside but can still wright on it. Make sure it goes most of the way up the bottle.

Step 10: The Graduated Cylinder~Taping on the Paper

Tape the piece of paper onto the bottle with double sided tape or make a tape loop with the sticky side out, and attach it to the bottle. Don't put it on the outside, you will see why latter.

Step 11: The Graduated Cylinder~Mark It Up

Measure out different amounts of water 25 mL at a time starting at 50 into the bottle and mark it with your marker.

Step 12: The Graduated Cylinder~Secure!

To secure it put an extra piece of tape over the label, watch the video above to see how to do it and the other video to see how it works.

Step 13: Conclusion

Over all, these tools work really good. I hope these are as useful to you as they were to me. They are especially great for school now because they are made completely of items that you can find at home and we're all stuck at home!

Step 14: A Little More Testing That I Did

These are a few more tests I did with the graduated cylinder and the balance scale. I hope these ideas help you!

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